Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Eric Gagnon

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Selling Your Restaurant? Better Start Your Spring Cleaning

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Apr 9, 2018 12:57:13 PM


Dark Blue and Red World Press Freedom Day Social Media Post-1Spring is in the air. We all feel driven to clean out closets, tidy up spaces and do a general touch up. Thinking of Selling your restaurant? Apply the same thought process.

Most of us take a hard look at our homes and we will try to make it look as good as we can for the upcoming months. Why not do the same for your restaurant? If you’re thinking of selling your restaurant, here are some of the major areas to focus on from the restaurant brokers. These are the major areas and ideas for your Spring cleaning.


Dining room, Patio, Kitchen

When it comes to selling your restaurant, you need to look up, down, and all around. When is the last time you really cleaned your dining room floor? I don’t mean just mopping it. What about steam cleaning, rebuffing, re-waxing or even replacing a tired surface. You may not look down, but your customers do.

A continuation of the dining room floor are the base boards. When selling your restaurant, no detail is too small. Take a moment and wipe down the baseboards?

For a larger project, consider touching up paint on walls, a fresh coat of paint maybe even a new color? HGTV is filled with stories of a “before” and “after.” Many of these are just fresh paint colors that can have a huge impact.

Don’t forget to look up. That A/C leak from last year that stained a few of your ceiling tiles is a constant reminder of failed equipment. Don’t let a restaurant buyer focus on these negative items if you’re selling your restaurant. Look up, fix the ceiling tiles and, how about those ceiling fans? Please don’t tell me the last time you dusted them was last Spring.

Look at your décor. Change out old faded artwork or posters. You can do better. New pictures, new TV screens, new table covers; all are easy and simple (low cost) ways to bring Spring in the air.

Your kitchen is the engine every buyer wants to see. When is the last time you pulled out your kitchen equipment and steam cleaned the entire space and equipment? Have you gone to your storage area and disposed of any items no longer in use? Consider updating to newer technologies or upgraded equipment for the upcoming busy season. New equipment may cost now but make a huge difference to your bottom line this year if the food cooks faster or the temperature is stable.

Patios are often a huge plus for restaurants but to require upkeep. That area if visible from the road could also be the first look in your establishment for many customers. Make sure you have a picture-perfect patio area. Adding water or fire elements to your patio could also make a very positive impact on your business. Your patio, seen from the road, can be a billboard for you.

Menu Spring Cleaning

When selling a restaurant, the focus is on profitability. When is the last time you took a hard look at your menu? Adding and/or deleting items, pricing adjustment, seasonal specials, promotions, LTO’s. Be very strategic here. An outside consultant or food vendor can help with this. This is a big part of your business. If you can bring up your loss leaders or trade non-selling items on your menu for more profitable and sellable items what are you waiting for? Status quo is very easy and comfortable but if your sales are not going up, you are losing marketing share.

Staff Spring Cleaning

When selling your restaurant, you want the best possible crew. Do you need to provide additional training to the current team? Should you roll out a new incentive package for the team to participate in? You can host team building activity to set the tone and expectations for the busy season ahead. Whichever you decide to do here do not overlook or skip staff spring cleaning.

You spend a tremendous of time in your restaurant and sometimes it is very difficult to step out be candidly honest with yourself about the appearance. When selling your restaurant, that first impression may seal or sink the deal.

A quick Spring cleaning can go a long way. Any changes small or big will be noticed by your team and your customers. That new paint smell or new air freshener in your bathrooms will soon become the smell of new customers and new profits.

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

What Your Restaurant Wants for Christmas, According to a Restaurant Broker

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Dec 14, 2017 10:00:00 AM

This is the time of year where being thankful and giving to others takes center stage. As a Restaurant Broker for over 15 years, I have always believed that giving someone a restaurant for Christmas is an excellent idea, and I still believe that today. Unfortunately, it seems that I am the only one that believes in that theory, but hey, this is also the season for miracles, right?

Until my Christmas wish comes comes true ( can you hear me now, Santa?) I decided to ask your restaurant what it would like for Christmas.  Boy did I get an earful.  After several long discussions with your restaurant, here are the top 5 things it would like for Christmas from you or Santa, in no particular order:
  • Your Restaurant wants a makeover

When is the last time you invested in actual dining room or kitchen upgrades? It does not have to be all that expensive.  A fresh coat of paint can go a long way. You may able to make a community event out of it  Have a bigger budget?  Investing in new kitchen equipment can save you money in the long run, or increase speed in the back of the house. Maybe you can do both. 

  • Your Restaurant wants to be part of a winning team

A great location with a great decor package and good food is not enough anymore, you need to build a great team to make all of the above even better. Make it your goal to build and retain a team that will keep your customers coming back. By the way, your P&L will like this gift too.  

  • Your restaurant wants to be lean and mean

Everyone tends to get get a little more lenient when things are running well and the bank account is well above the minimum required to operate. This is no different than all of us who tend to overindulge druing the holidays and get a little more sloppy about our discipline. Make it a goal to get better in several aspects of your restaurant. Maybe it’s food cost, labor cost, increasing your sales, or simply to hit better margins by doing quarterly reviews of different expense categories. Whichever one it may be for you, now is the time to get started - it is never a good time to start this process when you are tight with money and forced to do something drastic.

  • Your restaurant wants a little brother or sister

WOW! This could be tricky! Have you ever thought about purchasing another unit? Whether you are looking at your next franchise unit or another concept that you have in mind, many things must be in order before creating that new child! Is your financial house in order?  Do you have the capital required? Do you have team member on the bench ready to step up? The answer here is not, "We will hire someone 30 days before opening." Are we building out first generation space, or are we looking for second generation, or can we buy someone else's location? 

  • Your restaurant wants to be around for a very long time

As an owner, manager, or investor in a restaurant, the greatest pleasure you can have is to see your restaurant grow and prosper. Unfortunately, unlike your human children, this one will require care, nurturing, guidance and ongoing leadership forever. Even if you are an owner operator you must surround yourself with trusted advisors to make all the right decisions. You make so many decisions in a day that even if you get 80 percent of them right, every day you still may fail in the long run. Surround yourself with people that will help you during the life of your restaurant, people like accountants, bankers, insurance agents, food purveyors, marketing geniuses, advertising executives, sales pros, coaches, mentors, peers, etc...

If you can give any or all of these things to your restaurant in the near future, your restaurant will thank you. How you ask? By rewarding you financially! Now is a good time to add your restaurant to you list of people who need your gifts this holiday season. Plus, it will keep you off the 2018 list of naughty restaurant owners (yes, the restaurants told me they are working on it for 2018).

Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful Christmas and great Holiday season, and remember, if you are looking for a restaurant for sale that you want to treat right all year long, click the link below. We have the hundreds of restaurant for sale listings for you to browse.

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Topics: Restaurant Brokers

Restaurant Sales Results are Down.  What are you Doing About It?

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Aug 15, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Restaurants sales for most of 2017 have been soft.  We are seeing reports for both of the first two quarters trending below expectations.  The results are the same for both franchise and independents operators. As a restaurant broker performing valuations on a daily basis we always ask potential sellers the same question we are being asked by the bank and the buyers.  Why are your sales declining?  The most common answer we receive is, “I don't know."

Get our there and Sell.jpgIf you have been reading or even just glancing at the headlines in most trade publications you should know this: traffic is down and there are more options than ever before for consumers when it comes down to prepared food. Are you measuring the decline or working to curb the trend?

Owners will often tell us their plan to grow sales is a “wait and see” strategy.  For these sellers, they truly believe, “it will come back on its own; this is a good location." Other reply that they truly don’t have a plan.  As a restaurant broker focusing on business valuation neither of these makes me feel good.  If you tell this to a banker,  don't count on lending any time soon.  They will likely shy away from your deal with either answer. 

Now that the cat is out of the bag let's try to look at what you can do to curb this trend. Here are three ways you can take control of your business today and improve your sales results.

Review and Refresh your Marketing and Advertising Strategies. Marketing and advertising have changed tremendously over the last couple of years.  If you don’t clearly understand how to interact on social media to drive bottom line results, I suggest you hire someone that does ASAP.

Putting your events and daily specials on social media every day is not having a successful social media presence. You need to measure results and look at each offer.  Social media is not the magic bullet to turn your sales around.  It is, however, one of the ‘must-have’ tools in your strategy.

Community Involvement. Old fashioned community involvement seems to have fallen off the radar but the actual bottom line results are still strong from this tried and true method. Churches, little league baseball, youth football, soccer and civic organizations in your area are great potential loyal patrons for your establishment.  Restaurant owners need to go and meet with the leaders of these groups.  Then figure out the best way to get involved and ask how you can personally invite their members or participants to your restaurant.  

Get Outside Your Walls. In this day and age of technology it is very easy and comfortable to stay behind our screens and interact with others though digital means.  You however, chose to be in the restaurant industry which requires human interaction every day with team members and customers. Most of you enjoy the interactions and this why you are a restaurant owner or manager, otherwise you would have become an accountant! In order to gain sales even in slower sales cycle it is imperative for you to reach OUTSIDE of your four walls on a daily basis.  If you are not out there in your local market meeting new people, thanking and inviting customers, someone else is doing it for their establishment. You should be outside the store with a strategy every single week to develop new business.  Is there a new gym opening?  Partner on a coupon for a healthy “side” for free with purchase of an entrée.  Fun K run this weekend?  Buy yourself a tent and invite the runners to celebrate their success with a sweet indulgence – free dessert with purchase of a meal.  There are many ways to get outside the store and develop business.

While we have restaurant sellers trending right on par with disappointing national trends, we have others experiencing double digit growth.  The difference in the two?  Our growth sellers are using the techniques described above. They are not counting losses, they are making changes.  Above all, they recognize the game has changed and it’s time for them to get out there and yes, SELL!!!

 Interested in know what your restaurant is worth in today’s market?  Contact the Restaurant Brokers at this link for a free valuation

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Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Election Year Advice for Restaurant Sellers - Are you ready?

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Sep 29, 2016 9:45:00 AM

The first debate is over and the election countdown begins.  Who are you pulling for?  Never mind – the restaurant brokers don’t care.  No matter which side makes it into the oval office, as a restaurant seller, you need to start looking ahead and prepare for the coming year.

election_blog.jpgSome brokers say that business is slow in anticipate of the election while buyers sit at the sidelines in a “wait and see” phase.  That is not the case at We Sell Restaurants where we have more deals in contract than at any time in our fifteen year plus history.  However, if you as a seller have been holding on until after a new President is sworn into office, here are some tips on what you can do between now and the election to be ready to sell early in 2017.  

First, it is a lot easier to figure out where you are going next when you know where you are coming from. Make sure the data from your current year is up to date through last month.  Know your key performance indicators like year to date sales, food costs and labor cost along with the performance of your marketing and advertising campaigns.  Don’t overlook items like LTO (limited time offer) success and employee turnover.  Buyers are more serious and curious than ever and you should expect them to ask questions about your total operation. 

Once you have the current year’s starting point, analyze your findings against last year’s performance.  Most importantly, also compare your results to the current year industry performance in your segment. Key questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I performing above, at or below the industry? ( a very important key indicator)
  • If I’m a franchise, where do I rank in the system?
  • How am I doing compared to my previous year? Once you answer several questions you should start getting a clear picture of where you stand instead of a "gut feeling statement." Some might say business is bad if you’re down 10% from last year, but if your industry and segment was down 25%, you actually did quite well right?

Once you get this picture; you can now start looking ahead and drafting your plan for next year. What are your goals? Get with your management team and discuss the following:

  1. Do we open a second location or a new concept?
  2. Do we focus on strengthening operations and growing sales?
  3. Do we stay put and renegotiate the lease while saving money for future remodel or do we make changes now?
  4. Do we start looking at moving to a new location?
  5. Do we look at expanding or different brands if you are in the franchise industry?
  6. Is it time to exit the business for any reason?
  7. Are there any other scenarios that you may imagine may be reviewed through this process?

This process makes it very easy for you to see if you can achieve the things on your wish list through your financial results.

The common element in all these is to have current high quality information at your fingertips at all times. Many of the scenarios above will require you to have this information to provide to various other entities such as banks, landlords, franchisors and restaurant brokers.

If you have not invested in having financial information available to you on a monthly basis you are making decisions blindly.  That’s whether you have one small family owned restaurant or multiple units.  Sometimes you can be more lucky than good, but as we all know, at some point luck will run out.

It is not too late to make this happen for 2016 and be ready for great success for 2017 regardless of the political outcome. If you need help, contact the estaurant brokers to point you in the right direction. 

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Atlanta Restaurant Sales Continue to Climb in 2015

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Jun 2, 2015 1:41:07 PM

CPA Robert Wagner has released his quarterly survey of sales growth in the Atlanta market and the results show an increase over last year of 5.5% versus the same period in 2014.  

A positive first quarter trend was reported by the CPA firm at 71% of the more than 100 restaurants surveyed.  


The restaurant brokers are seeing similar trending in the dozens of P&L's reviewed in the past quarter.   Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants says, "We are seeing sales increases ranging from 3% on the low end to 6% on the high end for most of the P&L's we review as part of the listing process. That includes both Atlanta Georgia listings and restaurants for sale nationwide."  He continues saying, "Sales are only one part of the equation when valuing a restaurant for lending.  Most valuation is based on earnings and owner benefit rather than top-line sales.  Most restaurant find stronger earnings as a result of better top line sales but others find savings in the bottom line through stronger expense management."  

Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon's take on sales increases is in line with the results captured by Black Box. Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales and traffic-tracking company found results nationwide were almost half that of the Atlanta marketplace with reported sales up 2.8% over the prior year in first quarter. Their data implies that some price increases have been in play as well since they say that while overall sales are up 2.8%, traffic is down .6% compared to the same period in 2014. 

Robert Wagner, NetFinancials president states that, “Q1 2015 was the 17th straight quarter that our
sales survey disclosed positive sales growth at Atlanta restaurants. There were a couple of
offsetting developments in Q1. First, sales in 2015 were going up against a quarter (Q1 2014) with
significant weather challenges. So we expected the 2015 sales to show favorably. Alternatively, in
Q1 new restaurants opened in Atlanta, particularly at Krog Street Market and Buckhead Atlanta. By
definition, new restaurants are not included in our survey. However, they can negatively impact
sales trends at existing restaurants. These competing trends appear to have canceled each other
producing a routine, respectable positive-comp-sales trend of 5.5% for Q1 2015.”


About the survey


The Sample: The 103 independently-operated, non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro
Atlanta market. Total survey sales volume was $69 million for the quarter. The survey includes
restaurants in Atlanta’s fast-casual, casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 15 months.

Robert Wagner, CPA is president of NetFinancials, Inc. which provides a full range of tax and
accounting services for restaurant companies. Email: Direct: 404-874-7002

The NetFinancials quarterly Atlanta restaurant sales survey is provided as a public service to the
restaurant industry. Copyright NetFinancials, Inc.

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Top 10 Restaurants for Sale November 2014

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Dec 15, 2014 6:18:38 PM

Here are the restaurant broker's top ten restaurants for sale for the month of November, 2014.  Our buyers frequently ask how the list is generated and here is the answer!  We measure the number of phone calls, feedback and inquiries from all our marketing channels.  While our powerhouse website generates the most looks, don’t forget the restaurant brokers are also out there on social media, on the radio each week and on YouTube talking about restaurants for sale.  We take all the activity generated from all this marketing and combine it with a count of online confidentiality agreements signed, listing views and other data generated from our powerhouse restaurant for sale website,     

We also check in with our Certified Restaurant Brokers to see which listings are driving the most phone calls.  We want to know what restaurant buyers are talking about with each of our agents.  At the end of the    
month, we add it all up and see which listings make it to the coveted top 10 positions out of our hundreds of     re
staurant for sale listings.

The time of year definitely impacts both traffic and the number of deals. November 2014 was a very busy month. Many sellers were working to finalize transactions before the 2013 year end. This is a common     practice as some want to move capital into an investment before year end for tax purposes while other restaurant buyers simply want to ring in the New Year as a restaurant owner.  

The most popular restaurant for sale this month actually wasn't for sale - it was for lease! This downtown university location got the most hits and most looks. We have presented several letters of intent to the
landlord but haven't finalized one yet if you're interested in this great opportunity. The adjacency to a
university is very appealing and they even allow beer and wine at the site!  

Restaurant Space for Lease in Atlanta - Near Major Downtown Universities
Lease: To Be Negotiated
Monthly Rent: $4995
Inside Sq. Ft. 2900
Outside Sq. Ft.

The second most popular restaurant for sale was a Marietta opportunity offered by restaurant broker John Sparks. This
business is operating as a Hookah lounge and Persian restaurant now but can convert to almost any concept as  the décor is flexible. The monthly rent at $3150 is a winner for a great location in East Cobb where high income households and families live in a strong residential community outside the Atlanta Metro area..

Persian Restaurant with Hookah Lounge for Sale in East Cobb
Lease: 5 years/option for 5 more
Monthly Rent: $3150
Inside Sq. Ft. approx 5000
Outside Sq. Ft.

A second listing in the downtown Atlanta offered for lease by Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon brought a lot of looks and was the third most popular listing for the month. This second location on a college campus brought a number of buyers to the table for a look and we expect a confirmed offer by early 2015.  

Bar and Restaurant Space for Lease in Booming Downtown Atlanta
Lease: To Be Negotiated
Monthly Rent: $7000
Inside Sq. Ft. 5000
Outside Sq. Ft.

The interest for buyers in quick service restaurants was evident by the strong number of inquiries on this turnkey space in Deerfield Beach Florida.  Not only did the listing generate lots of inquiries but Ken Eisenband, We Sell Restaurants franchisee in South Florida feels confident he'll have this on under contract any day now.  

Turnkey Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) for Sale in Deerfield Beach
Lease: Expires October 2015 plus options
Monthly Rent: $1942
Inside Sq. Ft. 850
Outside Sq. Ft. 200
City:Deerfield Beach

A new listing for the month, a diner in Tallapoosa Georgia with a retro feel and lots of space was the next most popular listing by the restaurant brokers.  This diner that features a ridiculously low rental rate.  The lease is only $1200 a month for 4000 square feet.  This business, outside the metro Atlanta market is a great opportunity for someone who wants to relocate to the south and experience small time living with very low fixed costs

Diner for Sale Features Breakfast Lunch & Dinner and Unbeatable Rent
Lease: 10 yr + 10 yr
Monthly Rent: $1200
Inside Sq. Ft. 4000
Outside Sq. Ft.

A waterfront restaurant for sale on the lake brought out multiple buyers. While a competitor to the restaurant brokers had this listed for months without a single contract, we had it sold in a matter of days! We have backup offers on this one so don’t look
for it to be available. We are only waiting on the lease documents to close on this deal. 

Waterfront Restaurant for Sale - Offered Under $50,000!
Lease: Negotiable
Monthly Rent: $$2500
Inside Sq. Ft. 1600
Outside Sq. Ft. 1600

Chicken wings have to be one of America’s top food groups and this Chicken Wings restaurant for sale in Brookhaven make it onto the top ten restaurants for sale list the very first month it was listing. We are waiting on offers to wrap this one up for a new buyer to purchase early in 2015.

Chicken Wings Restaurant for Sale - City of Brookhaven Atlanta's Newest City
Lease: 2 years
Monthly Rent: $1000
Inside Sq. Ft. approx 950
Outside Sq. Ft.

Delray Beach Florida, home to restaurant broker franchisee Ken Eisenband drove lots of looks and activity on an Italian and Pizza Restaurant for sale in a high volume plaza.  The inexpensive price point (under $50,000) generated a lot of interest for this fully equipped restaurant with a double stack pizza oven. 

Italian and Pizza Restaurant for Sale -- located in High Volume Plaza
Lease: 2 years remaining plus 5 five year option
Monthly Rent: $5500
Inside Sq. Ft. 2200
Outside Sq. Ft. 150
City:Delray Beach

Atlanta suburbs continue to generate strong growth among the “urban sprawl” of the marketplace so this former restaurant for lease space with a grease trap in place got lots of buyers interested.  It came in at number nine on the top ten list of restaurants for sale.

Former Restaurant Space for Lease - Grease Trap in Place!
Lease: 5+5
Monthly Rent: $5625.31
Inside Sq. Ft. 3525
Outside Sq. Ft.

 The tenth place finish was for a Subway restaurant in the Atlanta metro area.  This unit, priced under $100,000 and with very low monthly rent allows for an owner/operator to make a nice income.

Subway Franchise For Sale in Georgia
Lease: Valid thru 2018 plus Options
Monthly Rent: $1630
Inside Sq. Ft. 1500
Outside Sq. Ft.

All said, November 2014 was a busy month for restaurant brokers!  The top ten listings resulted in more hits to our powerhouse website and more buyers than any other November in history.  We continue to post new listings daily and will publish December results along with our annual version of the Top Ten Restaurants for Sale early in the New Year. 

Interested in more restaurants for sale?  Visit our Website!

Topics: Buying a Restaurant

University Restaurant Space for Lease in Atlanta

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Sep 2, 2014 1:32:26 PM

4277_mainpic-1Rent this restaurant space for lease in a location surrounded by thousands of potential customers.  Located in downtown Atlanta, this restaurant space for lease, offered by the restaurant brokers, is the perfect new locale for your business.  The monthly rent is $4,995 for 2,900 square feet which includes a 600 square foot mezzanine open to the downstairs.  Public transportation provided by the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) offers plenty of transportation options.  Patrons can easily access the district by either the MARTA rail stations and/or the city bus routes.

This is currently a closed location however it has a hood, grease trap, flat top, fryers, refrigeration and some other remaining equipment.  The front of house includes everything down to the chairs and  tables so it could be turned over to a new concept quickly.  Your new business will be located directly on a university campus with access to more than 32,000 students and 3500 faculty members.   Landlord is willing to do both Tenant Improvement Money and free rent for a period of time for the right tenant to offset an upfront charge of $25,000.  The landlord is willing to make a sweet deal but he wants experienced operators or franchises for this one of a kind location.  His preference for the concept includes a breakfast and lunch operation.  Come a break a few eggs on this college campus today with the many concepts that are right for this daypart.    
The area is thriving and allows for a terrific opportunity.  This restaurant space for lease is surrounded by major retailers, high-end businesses, and outstanding foot traffic.  This area is the central business sector for Atlanta and is the largest of the city’s districts.  This Atlanta neighborhood hubs many corporate headquarters as well as city, county, state, and federal offices. 
This restaurant space for lease is within a region which measures approximately four square miles and has the median income of $87,000.  Due to the exponential growth of the district, the downtown area has undergone a significant transformation.  Renovation of historic buildings and construction of new housing/condos has welcomed the arrival of new businesses and residents alike.
This restaurant space for lease allows for endless inspiration and numerous concepts.  A spacious 2,900 square foot floor plan, the site can effortlessly mold to concepts such as a coffee shop, doughnut, fast food franchise, or even a yogurt shop.  Your options are limitless.  Quick-casual concepts have become extremely popular and allow the customers convenience and speed of service.  The rise of the “foodies” has also permitted significant growth for fine dining joined with casual dining prices.
Make an offer today on this restaurant space for lease and contact Certified Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon at 404-800-6000.

Topics: Leasing a Restaurant

Restaurant Brokers talk to Restaurant Owners who Keep It in the Family

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Aug 21, 2014 4:34:06 PM

August 18, 2014 – This week, restaurant brokers Eric and Robin Gagnon discuss the great American institution of family owned restaurants. The panel includes Chris Mullins of McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Gregory Woloszcuk of Dickey's Barbecue Pit, and Anthony Spinato of Spinato’s Pizza. 
How does ownership pass from generation to generation?  What are the struggles and what are the benefits of coming up through the ranks of the American dream - restaurant ownership. How do you stay true to your history and incorporate the new ideas and energy of the newest generation taking over the reins?  For today’s guests, there are multiple generations involved in the business and they are answering the restaurant broker’s questions. 
You may think that running a family restaurant adds pressure that could damage those relationships but guest Anthony Spinato says, “It helped us learn how to be a better family.”   It isn’t only the legacy of the business that transfers from one generation to another, it’s also the customers.  One We Sell Restaurants radio show guests recalls being introduced to a repeat customer by his father who said, “Do you know how many pairs of shoe’s he (the customer) has bought you?” 
But, best of all, you get the opportunity to be close to your family members; to work and grow with them, and to have the satisfaction of producing an asset that will benefit them for generations.
The We Sell Restaurants brokers talk to operators that grew up and took over the family owned business to discover how ownership passes from generation to generation.  They consider the struggles and benefits of coming up through the ranks of the American dream - restaurant ownership. Eric and Robin also ask their panelists how they stay true to their history while incorporating the new ideas and energy of the incoming generation.
This Week’s Guests:


Christopher Mullins Jr.McGillin’s Olde Ale House:
McGillin’s Olde Ale House is Philadelphia’s oldest continuously operating tavern and one of the oldest in the country. It was opened in 1860 – the year Lincoln was elected – as Bell in Hand Tavern. But everyone called it McGillin’s – after Pa & Ma McGillin, who ran the tavern & raised their 13 children upstairs. After Pa died (1901), Ma ran it with an iron-hand and even survived prohibition. Their daughter, Mercedes (who grew up upstairs) sold the bar to Joe Sepaniak & Henry Spaniak (brothers who spelled their names differently) in 1958. Henry’s daughter (Joe’s niece), Mary Ellen Mullins and her husband (Chris Mullins Sr) took over in 1993 and their son (Henry’s grandson), Christopher Mullins, Jr. is now taking over the reins.  Christopher graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and honed his skills at Philadelphia’s esteemed Union League before becoming the third generation of his family to join the business.


Gregory Woloszcuk, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit:
Gregpry Woloszczuk spent over 20 years working for fortune 500 high tech companies such as NetApp & EMC in a variety of technology, sales, and marketing leadership roles.  He transitioned into restaurant ownership and has grown his business to 3 locations during the past 8 years. In the middle of that growth, his company also took on the additional responsibility as the exclusive North Carolina Area Developer for the franchisor  (2010-Jan 2013), Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.  As Area Developers, his company helped 9 other locations open and provided the ongoing operational support to them.  This resulted in a total of 12 locations by the start of 2013 with more in the pipeline.  Gregory’s experience can be summarized with a proven track record of growing business segments in high tech companies and as an independent business leader during all types of economies while seeing competitors lose market share or cease operation.
Anthony Spinato, Spinato’s Pizza:
Anthony was born and raised in Phoenix by his loving family in their pizza business. As he grew and learned the business, he found that his family’s business was his passion. He has since taken over day-to-day operations of his family’s chain of pizzerias. He has overseen tremendous growth in revenue and expansion into new locations. He is married and has two children.

About WeSellRestaurants
We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm specializing in restaurants wanted (restaurants for sale), leasing a restaurant and franchise restaurant resales.  The We Sell Restaurants brand is known nationwide for professionalism, industry knowledge, and unmatched service. They can be found online at  The firm is franchising their brand nationwide and has offices in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and South Carolina. 

Restaurant Bar for Sale in N. GA Mountains -- feature new renovations

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Aug 21, 2014 1:31:56 PM

Restaurant Bar for sale in North Georgia Mountains.  This location features brand new renovations and is a turn-key operation and ready for an owner’s unique concept.
Restaurant for Sale
This  is 5,700 square feet inside and seats approximately 200. This historic building also has a separate private dining area for special occasions and several outdoor spaces with excellent views and seating for an additional 50 guests.

The rent is $3,400 per month plus 2% adjusted gross sales for this restaurant bar for sale located in a high traffic area of the North Georgia Mountains offered by the restaurant brokers.

Fully equipped commercial kitchen has it all and then some!  All equipment is a year old and includes items such as 6 burner stove with 24” griddle, convection oven, ice machines, fryers, freezers, coolers, steam tables, and much more. 

This restaurant bar for sale features an American style menu with local ingredients and mouth-watering favorites such as Shrimp and Grits, Glazed Salmon, and Country fried meatloaf.  Customers can dine in the main dining room, or relax in the bar area featuring flat screen TVs, live music and great outdoor views of the mountains.  Also available for those perfect mountain days, an outdoor patio allows for al fresco dining.   
All of the chef inspired and self-created recipes will transfer in this restaurant bar for sale and will continue to be served by the consistent kitchen staff. The owner will provide 2 weeks of training on site to transition the buyer into the business for a successful start.

This 100 year old historic building under-went renovations a year ago of over $850,000;their loss is your gain!  Gorgeous interior and new appliances make this restaurant bar for sale a winning combination.  The pride the owner takes in the upkeep of this restaurant is apparent when you walk in.  The friendly staff sees regulars come back time and time again.

Make an offer today and contact our Certified Restaurant Broker Emily Yessick at (904) 674-3500.

Topics: Restaurants for Sale

Restaurant Brokers Compare Top 100 to Your Restaurant

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Jul 22, 2013 2:41:00 PM

Eric GagnonAs a restaurant broker we often need to look at the bigger picture to better understand the best value of one or several units in specific segments, categories or locations. 

Most operators look and measure themselves internally and often blame external reasons as for why they fell short of their goals or performed worse than the previous year or quarter.

I once had the opportunity to have lunch with Jack Welch former CEO of General Electric.  I just sat there and listened carefully to his words of wisdom. Today I still remember that lunch where he spoke about annual goal settings and budgeting for all the many divisions of his company.  He discussed how "theatrical" the sessions were as the unit level leaders would try to set low goals and get high budgets so they can look great at year end and get bonuses, promotions etc. 

Mr. Welch started to ask each division how they were doing against the marketplace and their competitors.  Various fuzzy answers followed his request as basically no one was really sure. He then decided that going forward all of his divisions will be measured against growth in market share and against the competition. Needless to say some of the strongest years for GE were under his leadership due in great part to this change in vision.

As restaurant owner you should adopt the same way on how you measure your performance. For instance, if you reduced your food costs by 3% and increased sales by 4% for the year, you may be very proud of that. However, if in the meantime, your industry segment (pizza, yogurt or Thai) grew sales by 7.9% and your competitors took market share from you, then you may be in trouble and not even realize it.

As a restaurant broker we differentiate ourselves from our competitors by using empirical data to measure performance.  We encourage restaurant owners to do the same and here's how.  Every year there is a great tool published by Nation's Restaurant News called the top 100. This report is an in-depth look at the top performers in our industry.  It takes us days to go through the data that is readily available to restaurant owners and buyers, along with restaurant brokers.  You can use that data whether you are an independent owner, single or multi-unit operator to help measure your performance and have an honest look at your business.

I seldom meet with a owner that blames himself for a poor performance.  The excuses we hear as restaurant brokers are along the lines of “well the economy is bad," "I have a bad manager and/or staff," "the franchisor is not helping," " I am in a bad location." Not once in more than a dozen years of selling restaurants have I had an owner in front of me saying, “my food is bad, my service is along the same lines and my restaurant is very dirty” even when all of that is easily apparent.

Now let me share with you some of the highlights of this year’s top 100:

Overall sales for restaurants grew by 5.3%.  More specifically for those of you in the bakery/cafe segment, sales grew by 11.9% ( the highest growth) while family dining was the worst segment only growing by 0.6%. McDonald's was the number one restaurant and has been number one on the Top 100 list for the last 39 years. Number 100 this year is the Firehouse Subs franchise restaurant which is up 17 spots from a year ago. The report breaks down into very detailed information in 15 different segments.

The restaurant brokers recommend you look at the segment you identify with and start comparing your key performance indicators against them. If you are not quite ready to compare yourself with "the big boys" they will release the same type of report next month for the "next 100".

Start looking outside of your walls for answers, because most of the time that's where the answer and success hides from you.

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Topics: Restaurant Brokers